With the collapse of the state-run distribution service in North Korea, market trading, selling, and buying became a means of survival. What started then is now an integral and formalized part of economic and social life. Peter Ward’s second review concerns Joung Eun-lee’s article on market development in North Korea from the early 1990s to the present.
Much Korean-language research about North Korea goes unread in the English-speaking world. In an effort to bridge the divide and make us all whole, Peter Ward embarks on a series of review essays dealing with key Korean research into marketization. The first piece looks at the surprising role of markets in the Kim Il-sung period.
Seven full years have passed since the second and final “sunshine policy” president, the late Roh Moo-hyun, left office. Yet debate over the historic value of the decade of sunshine persists. In Sino-NK’s latest review, two members of the team look at a brand new Routledge edited volume that attempts to assess the social legacy of the era.
In this roundtable review of Suzy Kim’s Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945–1950, Sino-NK contributors weigh the new stories told about North Korea against the author’s distinctive theoretical outlook. Introduction by Darcie Draudt.
Author’s Response to Sino-NK Roundtable on Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950–1992 (updated)
Some scholars are reluctant to actively engage with critiques of their work. This is a dreadful shame, for it is only in so-doing that the rising tide of academic knowledge can raise all boats to a new and better level. Fortunately, it was in this very spirit that Charles K. Armstrong seized upon #ArmstrongRoundtable convenor Benjamin Young’s request for a response to our review of his latest work.
Can the desolation of the North-South border region be understood as a “huge canvas for a meditation on life itself?” Adam Cathcart explores the relationship between the human condition and the peninsula-as-environment in this review of Lee Si-Woo’s Life on the Edge of the DMZ.
Do autocrats cede power to democracy when in fear of the alternative, or is there an alternative hypothesis: that strength increases the likelihood of democratization? East Asian case studies give food for thought. Let Steven Denney be your guide.